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Preserve me , O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
NOTE: This book has not yet been published in hard copy. If you would like to be notified when the hard copy of this book is published, Email: Contact TTT
" Condemnation before investigation, is the highest form of ignorance."
(By Albert Einstein)
"Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence."
(By Henri F. Amiel)
Preserving the Truth
Revised January 31, 2018
All books have some kind of story behind them and this book is no exception. My story began in 1989, when an envelope arrived in the mail from Threshing Floor Ministries of Spokane, Washington, U.S. It contained an advertisement to purchase copies of articles from an old Irish newspaper called the Impartial Reporter & Farmer's Journal, located in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The articles were about a peculiar nameless new Sect that had started in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century whose itinerant preachers went about the countryside two by two.
My curiosity piqued, I placed an order and soon after, I received copies of over 50 newspaper articles from the early 1900s. They contained names of early preachers with whom I was familiar, such as George Walker and Jack and Bill Carroll. I also learned about a Scotsman named William Irvine who had started a new religious sect in Ireland and assembled a large Christian convention there in 1904. Click here to read articles on TTT.
The articles reported details about a particular Christian sect that claimed to take no name. The more I read, the more certain I became that the articles were about the church in which my family had been members for three generations. My grandparents were converted in missions in the 1930s when my parents were yet children. My husband's parents and grandparents were converted in the late 1940s. Devout followers, my parents hosted the annual church convention for the state of Mississippi on their property in Jackson, where I was raised. Both George Walker and Jack Carroll had visited our home.
Insiders referred to our church as "The Truth," "The Way," and the "Friends and Workers' Fellowship." Some nicknames attached to this church with no name (used almost exclusively by outsiders) were " Two by Twos" (2x2s), " Cooneyites," "Irvinites," "Reidites," "Black Stockings," "Tramp Preachers," "Go-Preachers" and "Dippers." The ministers were referred to as "Workers," "Servants" and "Handmaidens;" and the laity as "Friends" or "Saints." The name assigned to this Sect by the U.S. Library of Congress and Wikipedia is "Two by Twos," which is also used in many other publications. Therefore, in my book, I have chosen to refer to it predominately as the "Two by Two Sect," abbreviated 2x2.
While studying these old newspaper articles, I pondered how it could be that none of my family or church friends had ever heard of this man who founded our church. How had we not known of William Irvine's existence and role as creator and founder? Immersed in this church from birth, these discoveries turned my world upside down, and the impact has been the same or similar for many other members.
In the history of mankind, it has always been natural to question where something or someone came from; natural to try to establish in our minds the reference points of cause, source and origin. We had not questioned when and how our Church had originated because from a tender age, we had been taught and believed that our Church had no earthly founder, and that Jesus Himself had started it. We were led to believe that our ministers had continued in a direct line from the first century apostles to the current ministers of this Church.
After more research, I concluded that we had never heard of William Irvine because a deliberate and concerted effort had been made to erase his name and presence from the history of the Two by Two Sect he had founded. Beginning around 1914, his name became anathema and was purged and banned from use by those who knew him or anything about him. Workers in authority at that time discouraged and diverted questions regarding William Irvine. Details were covered up, destroyed and omitted from the historical narrative. Misleading false information was substituted that the 2x2 Sect began when Jesus sent His disciples out to preach from the Sea of Galilee.
This myth continued to be preached and believed by many in this Sect until 1982, when the first book was published about the life and ministry of Wm. Irvine and his role in founding the Two by Two Sect. That book title was "The Secret Sect" by Doug and Helen Parker from Australia. After I read the Parkers' book, I decided to prove, or disprove, for myself whether this Scotsman, William Irvine, had actually started my church. It was then that I began to question in earnest.
In undertaking my quest, I devoted myself to the pursuit of truth and its preservation. Truth is a very precious commodity to me and I place a high value on it. I believe we must align our lives with truth; that we must realign our thinking as we uncover new truths, and that we must consider new evidence and make corrections to our earlier beliefs or opinions, or we will live in willful ignorance.
As time went on, I independently located, verified and proved the Parkers' information was true and factual, and I also discovered a considerable amount of additional evidence. In the ensuing 25+ years, I have made two trips to the U.K. and N. Ireland where I researched and collected evidence relating to the history of the 2x2 Sect. I also was surprsed to learn that there were some hymns in the Sect's hymnal, "Hymns Old and New" written before 1900--but none were written by a 2x2.
In this endeavor, I have committed myself to be a dedicated historian, a particularly daunting challenge when compiling an accurate account of the Two by Two Sect, which purposely does not record its own history, and which prefers, even goes to great lengths, to ensure that its history not be documented by others. Although Church authorities have tried, they have been unable to escape or bury its history. Strongly opposed to deception, and not willing to remain silent about the knowledge I had learned, I launched a website called Telling the Truth (tellingthetruth.info), and began writing this book.
I believe that everyone who has ever been associated in any way to this Sect has a right to know its history. My mission is three-fold. First, to make the historical facts about the 2x2 Sect easily accessible. Second, for this information to become common knowledge. Third, to preserve a reliable record of the origins, founder, ministers and progression of the Two by Two Sect and its founder, William Irvine, supported by credible, verified documentation. I am one among others who have dedicated a part of their lives to the task of researching, publishing and preserving the history of this Sect, which has been hidden and covered up for over a century.
My book and website are not investigations into, nor intentional expositions of the doctrine and beliefs of the Two by Two Sect, though these beliefs are discussed. The Bible, which has been established as a reliable historical record, is their standard and underwrites the 2x2 faith. They believe the Bible contains God's will, way, and "the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). Similar to the Bible, my book and website have also faithfully recorded the good, the bad, the meritorious and the unsavory. The past is what it is—it is set in stone, and its consequences flow on to us, even though we may not be aware of it.
I have presented the history of the Two by Two Sect in chronological order, along with my comments. I have intentionally written in a simple style in order that adolescents may understand. I am proud to be an American and I write with American English. However, there are many quotations from documents published outside of America which have been faithfully reproduced in this book in their original British English. For the sake of clarity, I have taken the liberty of capitalizing special 2x2 terms or jargon, including quotations where such terms were not capitalized in the original statements.
On rare occasions, a few comments with unknown sources have been used, and they are prefaced with the words "allegedly" or "reportedly," etc., indicating that I have not been able to substantiate these comments. I deemed them worthy of inclusion, partly so that readers will know I was not unaware of their contents, and also to allow readers to judge for themselves and be able to form their own opinion with all available material. In instances where there is conflicting information, both versions have been provided.
I make no representation that the materials used and information contained in this book are accurate, reliable, complete or error free. All content provided is for informational purposes only. All scripture quotations in this book, except those noted otherwise, are from the King James Version, as that is the version the 2x2 Sect primarily since they began. I have retained hard copies of the documents, newspaper articles, references, etc. used in compiling this book and website. Any exceptions have been noted.
I have gone to a great deal of effort to hold a high standard of accuracy in reporting details about the 2x2 Sect. I regret that it is impossible for a book of this size to be perfect in every regard. However, any errors or omissions have not been intentional. I have strived to present the facts without bias. However, in the literary world, it is recognized that bias appears in almost all writing.
When it comes to matters of faith, doctrine and history, I strongly encourage individual examination and questions. Ultimately, I hope this book will give the reader insight into how, when, where, and by whom the Two by Two Sect was started, along with knowledge of other key components of the progress of the ministry and development of the Sect itself. The principle has been well established that understanding the linkage between past and present is essential for a good understanding of the present.
I have enjoyed researching the history of the 2x2 Sect immensely, and it has been very fulfilling. I'm deeply indebted to countless sources all over the world that have helped me along the way.
Written for the Love and Preservation of Truth,
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)
"I shall conquer untruth with truth." (Mahatma Gandhi)
Read the unabridged autobiography of Cherie Kropp.
Whatever successes, victories or accomplishments we attain in life, we're never the sole accomplisher of them. I am ever so much indebted to the many readers and helpers who supplied, supported and encouraged me over the 25 years I've collected and compiled information. This book would not be what it is without the ongoing assistance, suggestions and material they have generously provided me. I am thankful to countless sources all over the world for their help and contributions to the research and writing of this book which ranged from small to gigantic. (Names are in alphabetical order.)
My dear husband, Chester Ehrig, who has spent untold hours assisting me in this lengthy endeavor; his comments and encouragement have been invaluable. My brother, Galen Berry , has been my language expert; my mother, Dot Berry , has been a proof reader and great source of material about the Sect in southern USA and black stockings; and my late father, Raymond Berry, who was proud of my research.
Typists, Editors, Proofreaders and Photography (in alphabetical order): Ruth Cowin, Joel Ehrig, L. Fortt, T. Fortt, Joan (Fair) Gardner, Scott Gregory, April (Austin) Hamilton, L. Hanson, Roy Hedahl, Connie Jacobsen, Julene Jones, Tracy Parman, Holly Pierce, Kris Satterwhite, Tom Teegarden; and one extraordinarily fast typist who prefers to remain anonymous.
Those who provided letters, notes, lists, photographs, research, financial support and various other assistance (in alphabetical order):
America: Paul Abenroth, Jeff & Lorraine Armstrong, Beverly Bafus, Dorothy Berry, G.R. Berry, Maria Bodey, Mark Burrell, Bob, Joan & Kevin Daniel, Jeanie Dudley, Katherine (Kay) Curtis Arvig Downs, James Ferguson, Derrick Hahn, Carol (Staack) Hammond, Roy Hedahl, Sharon (Heisler) Edmundson, Lee Fryer, Randy Hohenfeldt, Ilylo, Tim Jones, J. Frank Kelly, Martha Knight, Larry & Bonnie Lindemann, Stephen Magowan, D. Mansur, Michelle (Storck) Matthews, Marie (Gooding) Micheletti, Julie Olson, Kathleen Overby, Charles Storck, Mary Ann Schoeff, Tom Teegarden, Judy Temple, Jim Vail, John, Thelma & Alan VanDermyden, Edward K. Williams, Robert (Bob) Williston, and the Family of Cordia & Henry White and Marguerite Fern (White) Petersen of Scappoose, Oregon.
Australia: Ross Bowden, Nola Davies, Joan (Fleming) Frost, David Mansur, Stan & Rose Perry, Geoff & Esther Schmidt, Merve Schmidt, Alan Stone.
New Zealand: Ian Carlson, Russell Cooney, Lynn Cooper, Elizabeth Freebairn, Julia Sowerby, and the owner of 2x2history website.
Canada: Fred & Verna Alder, Don Galloway, Sandi Gunther, Halena Halpin (granddaughter of Ed Cooney's sister Mary Elizabeth), Walter Holt, Bonnie & Iver Kleven, Alvin & Diane Kroeker, John Mitchell, Bruce Murdoch, Valerie (Stokes) Pike, and Marge Reynolds.
UK Scotland, Ireland & N. Ireland: Alison (Pearson) Chambers, Mervyn Dane (Impartial Reporter Newspaper, Enniskillen), Louise (Napier) Dawson, Bobby Dukelow (retired from Faith Mission), Robert Kee, David Killicoat, the Kilsyth Chronicle, David and Daniel Magowan, Jim & Philomena Mallon, Ron Morris, Maeve Plower (Weirs of Baggot Street, Dublin, Ireland), Patricia (Melia) Reynolds, Kate Sutcliff, and John and Joyce Swanton.
Vietnam: Nguyen Huu Bau, his daughter Nguyen Thi Minh Thanh and her husband Nguyen Xuân Hoàn and Nguyen Thanh Hoa, a Brother Worker, who is no relation to the others.
Book Authors: Daurelle Chapman (Reflections), Elizabeth Coleman (Cult to Christ), Lynn Cooper (The Church with No Name), Kevin Daniel (Reinventing the Truth), Joan F. Daniel, (Reflected Truth), Kathy Lewis (The Church without a Name), Mr. & Mrs. John Long (John Long's Journal), Gene and Grace Luxon (Has the Truth Set You Free), Seamas McCanny (Fermanagh Miscellany 2), Doug & Helen Parker (The Secret Sect), William Paul (They Go About 2x2), Patricia Roberts (The Life & Ministry of Edward Cooney, et al), and Henry Robinson (Ballinamallard Historical Society).
William Irvine's Letters: Bruce Hartman, Barbara (Briza) James, Llewellyn "Lew" Fountain, Marie (Judd) Parsons, Princeton University, Nancy Sue Rodriguez, and Margaret Turner.
Relatives of Wm. Irvine: Dr. Betty J. Iggo, A.S.G.R.A. (Scotland Genealogist); David Clelland and Daniel Bruce (re: Helen Irvine Clelland); David Forrester Mitchell and David Killicoat (re: John Irvine); Liz Kwasnik and her mother Elizabeth Kwasnik, Lizbeth Freebairn and John Freebairn, (re: Agnes Irvine Freebairn); and Linda Stopforth (re: James Irvine).
Faith Mission Assistance: John G. Eberstein, Bobby Dukelow, Colin N. Peckham, Keith H. Percival, Sandy Roger, John Townend and Valerie Robertson, librarian.
My sincere apologies to any whose names I inadvertently left out. Those who gave valued assistance but prefer to remain anonymous, you are no less appreciated.
To all of you who contributed and praised my work; you helped make this book a reality. I could not have done it without all my generous sources who went out of their way to provide me with far more material than I would have ever found on my own.
NOTE: This book has not yet been published in hard copy. If you would like to be notified when the hard copy of this book is published, Email: Contact TTT
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